Transportation of crude oil from Turkana to Mombasa is scheduled to resume this week after stalling for one and half month following protests by local communities demanding jobs and security.
Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes and Tullow Oil Country Manager Martin Mbogo said they had reached an agreement with local leaders and communities to end the stalemate that has led to losses of more than sh 600 million.
Turkana South MP James Lomenen and his Turkana East counterpart Ali Mohammed Lokiru said they still engaging communities in the region over the matter.
“So long as demands by the community are implemented then we have no problem with the oil being moved”, said Lomenen who spoke to the Star on phone.
British Oil firm Tullow has restored its operations in the oilfields where workers were evacuated almost two month ago after residents stopped the transportation of the crude Oil.
“We expect all work including transportation of the crude Oil to resume on Thurday because we have successfully dealt with issues raised by the communities”, said Munyes.
Mbogo said they were happy that most of their operations had resumed and this week lorries carrying crude oil would leave Lokichar headed for Mombasa.
He said they had put in place structures and systems that would be used to resolved any conflicts with the local communities in relation to the Oil issues.
Following negotiations between both sides the Turkana Grievances and Management Committee to chaired by County Commissioner Seif Matata will be launched tomorrow (Tuesday) ahead of the transportation of the oil.
The Inter ministerial Escalation and Support Committee which includes the cabinet secretaries for Petroleum and Water, the Attorney-General, Turkana Parliamentary Caucus Group and other key leaders will also meet this week over the oil issues in the region.
“We have put in place the necessary security and with support from the leaders and communities we expect smooth operations once the transportation resumes”, Matata said.
So far the government has deployed more than 600 security officers along the border between Pokot and Turkana to improve security and support the transportation exercise. Local communities have been demanding that Tullow and the government give them most of the jobs in the oil fields as the hosts.
Governor Josphat Nanok said they will always engage stakeholders in the region to ensure disputes do not disrupt transportation of the crude oil from the region once the process starts afresh.